Why Are College Basketball Coaches Wearing Sneakers?

Have you observed the trend of college coaches throughout the country wearing sneakers with suits, ditching their dress shoes? So, why are college basketball coaches wearing sneakers? The reason behind this is the celebration of Suits and Sneakers Week.

The event is a collaborative effort of these coaches and the American Cancer Society (ACS) to unite for one common goal – eliminating cancer and saving lives. The campaign goes by the name “Coaches vs. Cancer.”

ACS is one of the leading organizations in the nation dedicated to eradicating the roots of cancer and building a world that’s healthy. From January 20 to 26, they celebrated Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers week across the country. Over 3500 NCAA coaches, namely Auburn’s Bruce Pearl, Baylor’s Scott Drew, Iowa’s Fran McCaffery, Texas’ Shaka Smart, Oklahoma’s Lon Kruger, and many more came forward to show their support for this national initiative that joined basketball causes with a united cause.

According to their initiative, during the game, high school and college basketball coaches as well as their staff will exchange their dress shoes for the average sneakers along with their suits to raise awareness, raise funds and help save lives, and also motivate people to get basic knowledge on cancer screening, prevention, and early detection. The plan was to make this a nationwide scale event, and that’s exactly what happened.

The funds raised in this process would directly go to childhood cancer research, awareness, and services alongside promoting cancer prevention amongst targeted children.

Coach Lon Kruger, the council chair of the movement expressed how powerful the coach community can be if they set their differences aside and unit to fight the common enemy. He added that Suits and Sneakers was an opportunity for them to provide a visual reminder to all fans about the necessity and value of supporting the American Cancer Society.

In partnership with NABC, or, National Association of Basketball Coaches, the 27th edition of the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative began in November 2019. Their starting campaign was titled “United Front.” This featured impactful college basketball coaches, some of the more memorable names being North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, and High Point’s Tubby Smith alongside the entire list of Big Ten coaches.

Thanks to a special promotion offered during this time which continued till the ending of the college basketball season, fans had the chance to buy a special Coaches vs. Cancer tie that was designed by Vineyard Vines. 30% of the sales’ proceeds of every tie would be given to the Coaches vs. Cancer program to support ACS’s motive of saving lives and waging a war against cancer.

Chief development marketing and communications officer of ACS, Sharon Byers commented that Suits and Sneaker week was one of the most renowned charitable promotions in the world of sports. There’s something extraordinary about how people who are after each other’s glory in the country come together to raise awareness and funds for a cause as important as cancer prevention. He also expressed his deepest gratitude to the member of the NABC for showcasing outstanding support and commitment for the mission as well as the Coaches vs. Cancer program.

This whole program was inspired by Norm Stewart, former head coach of the University of Missouri, and a cancer survivor. During a season in 1991-1992, he challenged the fans to promise one dollar for each three-point shot his team made. This concept evolved into something much grander, turning into a nationwide concern that incited a collaboration between the NABC and the ACS.

Coaches vs. Cancer has managed to raise an impressive sum of over $125 million over the past 26 years in their fight against cancer. This may all be accounted to the amazing support and effort displayed by thousands of coaches all through the basketball landscape.

Alongside the coaches teaming up to take a stand against cancer, the very first Suits and Sneakers Week auction took place on eBay as a part of the Coaches vs. Cancer program.

Now that you know why are college basketball coaches wearing sneakers and if you’re a fan of college basketball, you can join in their motive to fight cancer by making a donation on their official website here.

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What is Coaches vs. Cancer

cancer vs coach

Coaches vs. Cancer is the result of a collaboration between the National Association of Basket Coaches, NABC, and the American Cancer Society that encourages coaches, communities, and the teams to pitch in to save more lives. The campaign brings out personal experiences, stellar performance, and community leadership of the coaches on a nationwide scale to promote a healthies way of living and increasing cancer awareness through year-round efforts, advocacy programs, and fundraising activities. If you wish to know more, visit their website.

About the ACS (American Cancer Society)

With a volunteer base exceeding the 1.5 million mark, the ACS is an international grassroots force pledges to save lives, celebrate them, and lead the world’s war against cancer. They offer a bunch of helpful services, starting from free lodging close to treatment, to free rides to said treatment, to 24/7/365 live helpline, and much more. Their breakthrough research results have proven to be invaluable in the path to defeat cancer once and for all. Powerful activists raise their voice to create impact and awareness. ACS is the sole organization directly attacking cancer like this from every aspect. For more information, check out https://www.cancer.org/.

Show your support for the noble cause @CoachesvsCancer on Twitter.


Now that you know this is why are college basketball coaches wearing sneakers, it’s is a truly incredible gesture to get people interested in a much-needed movement against the one condition that’s been causing an alarming amount of deaths every year. If the coaches unit, there’s nothing that can’t be accomplished – according to members of the ACS. Many people are interested in how to help. You can start by making a donation, or you can take it to a personal level and inform your friends, family, and contacts about the cause, reason behind inception, and how to prevent cancer.

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